Know your acronyms or at least know this one: GMO
Posted by by Bea James, senior manager of organic, natural and sustainable programs
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
With all the acronyms out there, how can you know which ones are important to know? I believe GMO (genetically modified organism) is a necessary one to start with. GMOs have been created through the gene-splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This relatively new science allows DNA from one species to be manually injected into another species, creating combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and viral genes that give the species specific traits for specific functions. In the food industry GMOs typically are being produced for seeds and livestock.
Although GMOs are not scientifically proven to be dangerous to human health, the possible health risks continue to be debatable since long term studies of GMOs have not been done. Personally, I believe that without the science to prove their safety, consuming them could be risky. While it’s hard to know if GMOs are actually safe, most developed nations do not consider them to be and they are banned or restricted in 50 countries, including France, Germany and Italy. Currently the United States doesn’t have this ban or require GMO labeling.
Right now, we have the choice to avoid GMOs. We can choose organic products, which by law are required to be grown and processed without the use of GMOs. We also have the right to know what we are eating and the right to make informed choices about what we eat.
At Lunds and Byerly’s, we offer more than 3,500 organic products throughout our stores. Since GMO labeling in the U.S. is not required, choosing organic is your best bet to avoiding GMOs in your diet.
For more information about specific brands that do not contain GMOs check out The Non-GMO Shopping Guide at nongmoshoppingguide.com.